2011 Meeting Notes

January 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Thursday, 27 January 2011

Once again we had great fortune with the weather for the January 2011 meeting of the Star City Brewers Guild.  On this sunny Saturday afternoon, members and guests met at the home of Harry M. in northern Roanoke County.  With a turnout of approximately 28 members and 17 guests, no one could remember having such a great turnout in the guest category for a regular meeting.  Since there were so many new acquaintenances we asked everyone to go around and introduce themselves and provide a little background.  In addition to the craft brews shared by our members, several of our guests brought samples of their creations.  I must say many of us were very impressed by the work of some very new brewers.

Kevin C. continues as our treasurer for 2011 and he provided a financial report and membership of 60 paid members.  Several dues payments were received at the meeting.  As a reminder, member dues must be current before entering any competitions.  The English IPA competition will be held in March.
Carrie reminded us that we still have our connection for logo embroidery and the location is close by her home.  Once again she offered the standing invitation to have clothing items we provide embroidered with the Guild logo.  The approximate cost is still only $7 each.  Several members were wearing different types of clothing in various color combinations which gave new folks an idea of what can be done.
The next meeting will be held at the home of Chris & Pam M. on February 19th beginning at 4:00 P.M.  We will be right around the corner from our last meeting at Harry’s.  All you have to do is go past Harry’s street and make the next right.  We are the second house on the left.  Official directions will be sent with the agenda.  The March meeting will be held at the home of Thom B. with the date to be announced.
The New River Valley road trip to River Company, Sharkey’s etc. was again discussed.  Tentative plans are for January 30th and there was much discussion about renting a van and finding a designated driver.  Kevin C. is coordinating this and Doug will do some follow-up on finding a van.
Will and Kevin told the group about a trip to Asheville with significant others Jen and Bailie planned for February 24th.  The American Homebrewers Association gathering will include Highland Brewing and special guest Charlie Papazian.  Our four members are looking forward to the trip where they also plan to visit several breweries in the area.  We all look forward to hearing of their experiences at an upcoming meeting.
Bryan S. shared with the group a possible local homebrew contest with two or three clubs participating.  Everyone seemed to like the idea.  The New River Brewers Guild will be having their own competition centered on Dogfish Head clones but the one Bryan shared with us may mirror the Blacksburg BrewDo with only light, amber, dark, and specialty categories.
Carrie and Justin assembled a group of 21 at Bull and Bones in Blacksburg to sample their Izvinite Babushka Russian Imperial Stout on Friday night.  They brought back samples of their brew session at Bull and Bones and the crowd enjoyed comparing the commercial version of their beer to the home brewed version.  The commercial version was scaled back somewhat and the differences were noticeable in the side by side comparison.  Both versions were outstanding.

Members shared several online sources of beer related entertainment as follows:
Greg shared his beer review site with detailed reviews of 180 beers
YouTube – Gregsbeerreviews’s Channel
Doug’s beer photos with over 1200 photos and brewer information
Beers wot I drunk… – a set on Flickr
Beth suggested a facebook page and confirmed that we have one
Homebrewers on Facebook Discussions | Facebook
Be sure to check these out.
For the March competition Bryan S. gave us a presentation on the English IPA (14A) style.  The description can be found at BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines – Category 14.  We all shared samples of Samuel Smith’s India Ale, Ridgeway Bad Elf, and Meantime IPA.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon.
Chris M.



Febrewary 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 23 February 2011

On another gorgeous winter Saturday afternoon the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of Chris and Pam M. in north Roanoke County on February 19, 2011.  Pam and I were glad so many were able to join us and I am very thankful for the awesome selection of host beers.  As always, the food was outstanding as well.  This was the second meeting in as many months in the same neighborhood and we had approximately 49 in attendance including Guild members, family, and guests.  It appears that we may be on track for a record year.  Once again we asked everyone to introduce themselves due to the number of new faces and we even had name tags. Treasurer Kevin provided a financial report with 54 paid memberships.  The total of 60 paid members reported in the notes from last month was a total number of members closing out last year.  With several guests joining at the meeting, the number will be higher than our record of 60 members from last year.  Trophies for the 2011 competitions are already paid for.  Dues must be current before entering any competitions.  Only $15 individual and $20 family for the whole year!  Time is running short with our first club competition scheduled for March 12th.
Carrie once again offered to coordinate embroidery for clothing we provide at an approximate cost of $7 each.  The fee must be paid in advance.
The next meeting will be held in the Bonsack area at the home of Thom B. on March 12th at 3:00 P.M. with open house beginning at 2:00.  We still need a volunteer for the April meeting, but Harry and Jeff offered to serve as backups if necessary.
Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing (http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/265-2483) will be receiving a shipment of brewing supplies this week.  Current SCBG members receive a 10% discount.  You must be on the list and your dues must be paid for this year.  They are now offering 50 lb. sacks of base malt grains for about $62.  You may bring the appropriate amount back to the store for milling as needed.  Once again, owners Chris and Fran have provided support to our competitions by donating $40 (increase from last year!) gift certificates to be awarded through a random drawing among those entering the competitions.  There was some discussion of doing a demonstration event for American Craft Beer Week, May 16-22.  Business Hours: Monday – Saturday 11A.M. – 6 P.M.  New hours beginning March 6, 2011: open every day from 11A.M. – 6 P.M.
National Homebrew Day is on Saturday, May 7, 2011.  James and Joan B. have offered to host the event again as they have the past few years.  This is an all-day event where several of us will brew together on-site and we hold our regular meeting there the same day.  We usually close out the day with a viewing of the Kentucky Derby.  This is a great opportunity to watch different methods of brewing and learn a few tips, tricks, and techniques.  Each time I brew with someone else, I learn something new.http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/events/national-homebrew-day
Now is the time to consider obtaining and planting rhizomes if you want to grow hops this year.  There is still plenty of time but if you are ordering them you may want to make your plans soon.  Several members shared their experience, updated us on their crops,  and advised of potential availability of rhizomes.
Will and Jen along with Kevin and Bailie plan their trip to Asheville and the AHA event on February 24th.  We all look forward to hearing about their trip.http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/events/rallies
Thom brought his portable pump project to show us.  He is building a pump enclosure from a tool box to completely separate the dry and wet sides, including the wiring.  There is a huge safety benefit from using this approach, not to mention the portability.  We look forward to seeing the complete project and watching it in action on brew day.
Thom also shared some really cool tap handles he built at almost no cost.  He brought a sample for all of us to see and he showed us how it was put together.  The handle is a White Labs yeast vial that has been filled with whole grains.  The clear plastic really shows off the grains so one could use different colors/grains, or whatever, to mix it up a bit.  He drilled a hole through the lid and placed it on the faucet threads and secured it with a washer and nut.  The lid was then screwed on the vial and there you have an instant awesome looking tap handle.  I can see my garage with these in the future.
Chris D. shared some cool homemade bottle tags with us that are reusable.  He made small signs out of dry erase board material and hanging handles out of speaker wire.  The signs hang around the necks of bottles to identify the brew and brewer.  For those of us that don’t always label our bottles this is a much better solution than markers, tape, etc.  It also avoids the problem of the cap getting separated from its original bottle.
Chris M. shared his plans to visit Natty Greene’s brewpub in Greensboro on Presidents Day.  Without Chris’ knowledge, Pam set up a meeting with the head brewer and a short tour.  Isn’t she awesome?!  New members Patrick and Lindsey (Lindsay?) highly recommended that we visit Bestway grocery while in town for the best beer selection there.  Watch for more on the trip to follow.
Kevin provided us with an outstanding and very detailed presentation on American Barleywine BJCP 19C http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style19.php .  Since this brew takes quite a while to age we decided to cover this one early so everyone can get started.  As a matter of fact, several members have already brewed their competition to let it mature before the December competition.  Kevin brought samples of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot 2011, Victory’s Old Horizontal, Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, and Avery’s Hog Heaven.  These were four distinctly different beers with a fairly common color and of course higher alcohol content.  The Hog Heaven and Third Coast Old Ale seemed to be the crowd favorites.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend.  Pam and I truly enjoyed everyone’s company.  We look forward to seeing everyone again soon.


March 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Sunday, 20 March 2011

On Saturday March 12, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild met at the family home of Thom B. in the Bonsack area.  We had about 43 total attendees and we were very fortunate to have wonderful weather allowing for activities to expand to the garage and outside.

In preparation for the English IPA competition, we began the meeting with a brief judges gathering to discuss recent suggestions for changing our quarterly competitions.  The topic of a calibration tasting generated much e-mail traffic and discussions in the days leading up to the event so we decided to give it a try.  Kathy provided us with an unknown sample and we were asked to judge the beer independently according to BJCP English IPA (Style 14A) guidelines before discussing it at our table.  Then the scores were announced and there was some discussion.  This allowed each judge to get an idea where he or she stood in relation to other judges.  The mystery beer was unveiled and it turned out to be an English IPA brewed by the Yards Brewing Company from Philadelphia.  Additionally, in order to provide better feedback to the brewers we discussed a different format where each judge would fill out an individual score sheet with comments and numerical scores.  The table then formed a consensus score and decided which beers should go to the final table.  The consensus scores will be used for the brewer of the year calculations.  We also asked that judges put their names on their score sheets so the brewers could ask follow-up questions.
For the English IPA competition we had 13 entries and we used the new scoring format.  This took a little longer than usual, but the extra feedback should be worth it.  Although, we will have to re-think the timing of the competitions within the meetings, maybe doing them later.  Due to the lengthy competition, unfortunately many of the members and guests had to leave before the meeting ever got started.  Congratulations to our winners, 1. Bryan Summerson, 2. Chris Barth, and 3. John Merkwan.  Bryan, Chris, and John were presented with trophies recognizing their efforts.
After a short break, once again we began the meeting proper with introductions.  With a crowd of 47 there were some unfamiliar faces.
Treasurer Kevin provided a financial report and shared with us that we have reached our all-time high record membership of 63 members.  This slightly edges our membership of 60 last year.
Thanks to many volunteers we have identified locations for the remainder of the meetings the rest of the year as follows: 4/16 – Harry M., 5/7 James and Joan, 6/18? – Bryan S., July – Doug, August – John and Diana, September – Chris D., October – Jeff and Cindy, November – Justin and Carrie, December – Will and Jen.
National Homebrew Day – Saturday, May 7, 2011http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ (Recipes now available)
Must Be the Season of the Wit / East India Pale Ale / Rocket Rod’s Positively Porter
The event will be hosted by James and Joan at their home in the Oak Grove Area.  This is an all-day event with a toast at 1:00 p.m.  Among those that may be interested in brewing are: John M., CyberDave, Bryan S., New Doug, Doug, and Chris M.  We will firm up plans a little closer to the date and determine how many brewers they can handle on-site.
Spring Demonstration Event – American Craft Beer Week is May 16-22 (Monday-Sunday). Chris and Fran from Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing will host a demonstration event on Saturday or Sunday (21st or 22nd).  After much discussion, the group felt Saturday would generate more participation.  A recommendation was sent to Chris and Fran and they will go with our suggested day of Saturday.  We will also coordinate the brewers once we get closer to the date. http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/
From the floor:
·         Kevin Shared his experience of his recent trip to the AHA rally in Asheville.  The event was hosted by Highland Brewing Company and Kevin got his picture taken with Charlie Papazian.
·         Chris shared a little about his trip to Natty Greene’s Brewing Company in Greensboro.  Head Brewer Mike Rollinson gave a wonderful tour and answered many questions.
·         Thom shared the details of his thermowell/keg conversion project that is taking shape nicely.
A drawing of all competition entrant names was held and James B. won the $40 gift certificate from Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing.
Our next meeting will be hosted by Harry M. on April 16th.
Chris M.
Star City Brewers Guild President



April 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

On April 16, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild (www.starcitybrewers.org) met at the home of Harry M. in the Hollins area.A total of about 41 people were in attendance. Thanks to Harry and friend Lynne for hosting on Saturday where there was some serious severe weather until just a couple hours before our gathering. I don’t recall when we have had such good luck with the weather as we have had so far this year.

As we have done for the last several meetings everyone went around and gave a brief introduction since we have had so many new folks join our group. Name tags were again available to make sure we didn’t stress our memories too much.

Treasurer Kevin was unable to attend this meeting so Chris M. announced a total membership of 63 and provided a financial report. This was before some payouts for commercial samples, the addition of some new members, and some previous members bringing their dues up to date. We had six new members join this time. Welcome to Chris & Guissella Sola, Jim & Lisa Armstrong, and Alex & Cindy Broughton. Thanks to those who brought their dues current as well.

Weather permitting James and Joan Brown will again host our National Homebrew Day Event on May 7th. This will serve as our meeting for the month of May and we will send out directions later with the agenda. So far we have possible brewers including: Bryan, CyberDave, Kevin, and John M. The club tent is on location and ready to go. In the event of severe weather, like we seem to be having lately, we will look to reschedule this event. James and Joan will make the call as we get closer and see the forecast. Let’s hope we will be as lucky as we have been this year and for past events. Recipes are available for Must Be the Season of the Wit, East India Pale Ale, and Rocket Rod’s Positively Porter. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/

Chris and Fran from Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing will host a demonstration event Saturday, May 21, 2011 to recognize American Craft Beer Week, which is May 16-22 (Monday-Sunday). Possible brewers are Thom, Harry, and CyberDave. Chris and Fran have applied for license and the ABC issues the license with the condition that we only are serving four different beers. We will need to keep this in mind when we are serving. Fran suggests that if there are only four set up a time and they can be changed out as they are tasted with other styles then we should be OK. They have asked us to remember this as we are serving so this doesn’t become an issue with the ABC. http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/

Host locations for all our meetings for the remainder of the year have been spoken for. Thanks to all who have volunteered to host our gatherings. Harry provided a brief update on Microfestivus and our planned support. For those that are interested, we will be primarily providing judging support with about half a dozen members committed at this time and we could use more. The possibility of a brewing demonstration is still on the table but we will likely not be offering samples of homebrew. Any interested members can go online or contact Harry for opportunities to participate. http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org/

From the floor we had a variety of opportunities you may want to check out including: Blue Angels at the Lynchburg Air Show in May, New River Brewfest in June, Dam Lager is now available at many Smith Mountain Lake locations and will be pursuing a brewing operation in the area as well, Pints O’Plenty of Forest is planning a move in the near future, Big Lick Brewtopia at the Salem ball park in June, Floyd Fandango in July, FloydFest, http://www.staythirstyblog.com, spare bottles were offered, and the best places to obtain the latest brews were discussed.

To prepare for our June competition Bryan walked us through the style guidelines and commercial tasting of BJCP Style #18A – Belgian Blond Ale – http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style18.php . In an effort to share the judging experience with everyone, we walked through a brief judging exercise using the first of our four commercial samples after hearing Bryan’s discussion of the style. We handed out the style guidelines and sample score sheets. Everyone that wanted to participate was asked to take five minutes to score the beer (Val-Dieu Blond) using the score sheets and style guidelines with no discussion.

After the five minute period, several members shared their scores and descriptive comments with everyone else. This gave everyone an idea of common things that were identified by different members and how the beer was rated by several different judges. The intent was to give everyone an idea if we were in range of most of those tasting the beer and it provided a good indication if a particular score was either too hi or too low. After this brief exercise we continued the commercial tasting with Leffe Blond, Saxo Blond, and probably most everyone’s favorite the brand-new Ommegang Gnomegang a collaboration with Brasserie d ‘Achouffe. The first two were BJCP listed and the last two were not.

Chris M. Star City Brewers Guild President



May 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Sunday, 15 May 2011

To commemorate National Homebrew Day, on May 7, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of James and Joan B. in the Oak Grove area of Roanoke County.A total of about 34 adults and four children were in attendance. Thanks to James and Joan for hosting on Saturday. Again, the weather turned out great for our gathering and brewing.

At this event each year, our group recognizes National Homebrew Day by participating in Big Brew. James had the club tent set-up to provide some shade and Joan made her outstanding chicken and sausage gumbo. The mild temperatures and sunshine made for a very pleasant day and some members stayed around for the Kentucky Derby as has become our tradition.  For Big Brew we had five brew sessions occurring at the same time. Kevin brewed a Belgian amber, John M. was brewing a pale ale using the brew in a bag method, Bryan was brewing a rye beer, CyberDave was demonstrating his triple decoction Oktoberfest, and Matt/Patrick were brewing a stout. Every brew was all-grain this year. We ended up with about 26.5 gallons. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/

Treasurer Kevin provided a report and announced a total membership of 70.

A Spring demonstration event for American Craft Beer Week will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2001 at Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing. The event hosted by Chris and Fran A. will take place in the store parking lot at 5524 Williamson Road in Roanoke. Those planning to brew are Kevin and CyberDave. Thom, Harry, Jeff, and Chris M. may also brew on-location. In addition to the brewing demonstration, we will offer tastings. Several folks offered to provide samples. Chris and Fran have applied for license and the ABC issues the license with the condition that we only are serving four different beers. We will need to keep this in mind when we are serving. They have asked us to remember this as we are serving so this doesn’t become an issue with the ABC. James has the club tent and tables and will make sure they get to the store for the event on the 21st. We normally start setting up around 9:00 and begin brewing around 10:00 http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/

Host locations for all our meetings for the remainder of the year have been spoken for. Thanks to all who have volunteered to host our gatherings. Our next regular meeting will be on June 18 at the home of Bryan and Jenny S.

From the floor, CyberDave suggested we coordinate a posting of links on e-mail about a week before meetings once a quarter to ask questions and share information. We do this now throughout the year, but the quarterly approach may help focus our postings and make the quarterly meetings more productive.

Bryan S. suggested that we all get together to brew more often. Indicating that his system is more efficient when running full, he even offered the use of his system and the option of splitting batches.

At 1:00 P.M. we all gathered for a toast and group photo to recognize National Homebrew Day. Cheers to Jimmy Carter…(and Billy!). Carrie once again took the photos and did an outstanding job.

Next meetings … 5/21 – Demonstration event, 6/18 – Belgian Blond competition

Chris M. President Star City Brewers Guild



June 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 22 June 2011

On Saturday June 18, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Bryan and Jenny Summerson in SW Roanoke.  About 26 members gathered on this nice sunny afternoon…at least until we attempted to conduct the business portion of our meeting…  Thanks to Bryan and Jenny for having us at their home for a wonderful meeting.  They had the club tent set-up and Bryan smoked some awesome ribs.Treasurer Kevin provided a report and indicated that we are now up to 74 members with the addition of Dan T. on Saturday. Welcome to the club Dan!

Tentative plans are for the July meeting to be held at Doug and Kel’s in Troutville on July 23rd. The remaining months in 2011 are already spoken for as follows: August – John and Diana September – Chris and Christy October – Jeff and Cindy November – Justin and Carrie December – Will and Jen Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to host our meetings. I know it is a lot of work and this is one of the things that makes our group work so well.

To follow up on our spring demonstration event for American Craft Beer Week, we had some discussion of promotion efforts for future events. Our next demonstration event will be on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 for Learn to Homebrew Day (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/events/learn-to-homebrew-day) . Chris and Fran of Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing ( http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/) will likely be able to host the event at their new location on Williamson Road across from the old location. CyberDave, Dan T., and possibly Jeff are planning to brew for this event. …about this time is when our nice sunny afternoon gave way to a cloudburst chasing us inside to continue the meeting…

Harry has been working with Lynn and Patrick on some flyer designs for distribution at Microfestivus. Patrick B. suggested coasters as a promotional item for the club. Coasters are great items as many of us have demonstrated with our collections. They may be a little more expensive than our postcards and brochures, but worth looking into. (Carrie, does your contact have coasters?) Some members discussed a simple handout on the brewing process that guests could follow as the process is demonstrated.

Harry is, again this year, coordinating our volunteer efforts for Microfestivus (http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org/). The event will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2011. There is still more room for participation. Members may contact Harry for available opportunities and times.

Today was also Big Lick Brewtopia (http://www.biglickbrewtopia.com/) at Salem Red Sox Stadium. Many members were able to attend before joining us for our Guild meeting and they shared their experiences with us. Overall everyone seemed pleased with the event.

Kevin shared details of his trip to Keegan Ales of the Hudson Valley (http://www.keeganales.com/) where he got to spend some time with the brewer.

With the recent reports of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company looking for an East Coast brewing location, there was much discussion of our area being on the short list for consideration. We believe we have so much more to offer than the site they are considering in Tennessee and we would like for them to know of our support for their brewery in our area. In order to share our support with them, and some information about our beer culture and lifestyle, we will write a letter from the Guild. Thanks to Patrick B. and Chris B. for working on the draft for us.

After a short break, Kathy, our chief competition organizer, had us ready for judging our Belgian Blond entries. A detailed description of the style can be found at the BJCP website under Category 18A (http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style18.php). A total of 13 entries were judged among three tables, with four being sent to the final table.
Congratulations to our winners:
3rd place – Will, 2nd place – Kevin, 1st place – Chris D.

Harry won the drawing for the $40 gift certificate from Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing.

Next meeting 7/23 at Doug and Kel’s. Watch for the announcement and directions as we get closer to the date.

Chris M.
President Star City Brewers Guild


July 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Will Landry
Sunday, 31 July 2011

It was another hot July day, so thank you to Doug and Kel for allowing us to enjoy their pool and hospitality all day, including tours of Doug’s hop farm. Many thanks to our hosts for a great meeting. A head count yielded about 20 members and one guest Matt from Staunton.The meeting began with a treasurer’s report by Kevin C. We stand at 74 members at the start of the meeting.

Our first topic was of course Microfestivus coming up in about 2 weeks on Saturday August 13th from noon to 6. A big thank you to Harry for his work in coordinating things. A couple points of note, judges should arrive at 11:30 to check in with Harry near the entrance I believe. As of now there will be 3-4 brewers demonstrating the process. Brewers may begin setting up between 7:30-8am. Anyone interested in helping with set-up should contact Harry. And finally, anyone who has not signed up that wants to help, Harry believes they will need a lot of adhoc help as the day progresses, so please get with Harry on that as well.

Related to Microfestivus, a special thanks to Lynn for her work on making posters advertising Learn to Homebrew Day. These posters, along with some postcards, will be at Microfestivus which will hopefully help draw a crowd to the event this year.

Our guest Matt had suggested a North Country Malt order for bulk grain. We would need to order 42 bags of grain to make it worth while cost wise. Give some thought to your upcoming brews and what base malts in particular you might need. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Matt or possibly Doug on this soon.

Last but not least, Blacksburg Brew Do is early this year, Saturday September 24. Entries for the homebrew contest will be dropped off between Mon Aug 29 and Wed Aug 31. As always Will L. and anyone who wants to join me, will be doing a drop off one of those nights. If you wish to enter beers, you can drop them off with me anytime up till we go. We usually drop off beers and hit Bull N Bones for dinner. I believe multiple e-mails have gone out with the bottle tags and registration forms. If anyone needs them let me know and I’ll forward the e-mail.

After the meeting, Doug presented us a fantastic powerpoint presentation on the American Stout which will be our September competition. Doug has already sent out an e-mail with the links to the references he used, and I believe the actual slideshow will be up on the SCBG website shortly. Thank you Doug.

Kevin presented the style samples to us. Two of the BJCP example, the Rogue Shakespeare Stout and the Sierra Nevada Stout, as well as three others. I unfortunately couldn’t stay for the end so I’m not sure which was the club preferred example, but the Rogue was excellent and it is first on the BJCP list.

Future Meeting Dates: September 17th – Chris and Christy October – Jeff and Cindy November – Justin and Carrie December – Will and Jen Thanks again to our hosts and to those who presented.

See you at Microfestivus.

Will Landry
SCBG Vice President


August 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011

On Saturday August 27, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of John and Diana Shoudel at Smith Mountain Lake.  About 26 members gathered on this mild afternoon while Hurricane Irene was making her way up the East Coast.  Many thanks to John and Diana for having us at their home for a wonderful meeting.  We got started with food and some very nice samples of home brew before moving down to the dock for the business portion of our gathering.  The weather really cooperated well and we enjoyed the waterside bar.Treasurer Kevin reported that we still have 74 members and provided our bank account balance. This summer we have had several inquiries about our group and many have indicated plans to join us at a future meeting as their schedules allow.

The September meeting will be held on September 17 at Chris and Christy’s at their home in North Roanoke County beginning at 4:00. This is our quarterly competition and we will be judging American Stouts (BJCP Style 13E). I will make sure the club tables get there for the competition. The club tent may also be useful and we can coordinate that with Bryan separately if needed. The meeting and competition will closely follow the format of the June competition at Bryan’s house.

Future meetings: October – Jeff and Cindy

November – Justin and Carrie December – Will and Jen

January – Harry (with Bryan and Chris B. as backups)

Harry attended a Microfestivus meeting on August 22 to go over the event with the organizers and it appears that this year has been the most successful Microfestivus yet. Many thanks to all members and friends who volunteered for this event and made it successful. The attendance filled the available capacity of the Downtown Elmwood Park venue and some folks had to be turned away. There were some minor suggestions to share with the Square Society but overall everyone was very pleased with the event. Our group suggested a brewers meeting where home brewers could get together with the commercial brewers in advance where we would have an opportunity to share some of our beers with them. http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org

Blacksburg BrewDo is September 24. Competition home brews are due by August 31. Hopefully we will have a good showing like we did last year. Best of luck to all! http://www.blacksburgpartnership.org/brewdo

Top of the Hops Beer Festival will be September 10 in Charlottesville. http://topofthehopsbeerfest.com/

Bramwell Oktoberfest is on October 8 at Bramwell West Virginia. http://www.bramwelloktoberfest.com/

High Country Beer Fest in Boone, NC (tickets are $30 for unlimited samples): http://www.hcbeerfest.com/

Asheville Oktoberfest in Asheville, NC (tickets are $25 for unlimited samples): http://www.ashevilledowntown.org/Asheville-Oktoberfest.html

John S. shared with us a potential for a new Smith Mountain Lake Beer Festival next year. The chairman of the SML Wine Festival and his wife, an event planner for the SML visitors center, were invited to the meeting to discuss some possibilities, but they were unable to attend. John will see if at least one of them can attend our next meeting. This may be an opportunity for us to help develop the festival if it moves forward. The upcoming SML Wine Festival is highly recommended.

Learn to Homebrew Day is Saturday November 5. To celebrate (Homebrewers Association | Learn to Homebrew Day – About ), The Guild will host a demonstration event sponsored by Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing at their new location at the Williamson Road Plaza. This event was marketed quite heavily at Microfestivus. Possible brewers are Kevin, Harry, Alex, and Chris M. There was a suggestion for a bulk malt order but in some cases there may be some delivery issues with the ability to unload a pallet. If someone wants to organize an order and find out the particulars, we can discuss it at a future meeting.

Kevin and Will plan to evaluate Big Willie for possible maintenance needs. The group voted to make minor repairs not to exceed $50 but there is a good chance no repairs will be needed. There was also some discussion of possible upgrades with faucets but this is a more expensive proposal. We will address this at a future meeting where we can have more detailed cost information to consider.

Carrie will make some contacts to see what it will take to repair the club logo on our tent and update our banners with the correct e-mail address.

Chris B. suggested we consider the possibility of going to a discussion forum for some of our communications, particularly for technical discussion on any particular topic. That may present a significant administrative burden. I will get some input for Chuck.

Thanks to everyone for attending. Watch for the announcement and directions for our next meeting as we get closer to September 17.

Chris M.
President Star City Brewers Guild


September 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Monday, 19 September 2011

On Saturday September 17, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Chris and Christy D. in North Roanoke County.  About 35 members and guests gathered on this cool afternoon.  Several neighbors and some other new folks joined us for the meeting and many were interested in joining our group.  Many thanks to Chris and Christy for having us at their home for a great meeting.  This was our first meeting at their house and the weather cooperated well for a nice outside meeting.  As always, we got started with some great food and some very nice samples of home brew before the business portion of our gathering.Before the meeting started we had 76 members. Welcome to new members Terri and John Hudson, John and Judith Zeimer, David Shelton and Meredith Bowman, and Frank Moeller. This will bring our membership to an all-time high of 83 and there may be another couple potential new members.

The October meeting will be held at Jeff and Cindy’s in South Roanoke on October 29th beginning at 4:00. At this meeting we will begin discussing the 2012 competition styles and open the nominations to be voted on at the November meeting. Check the website to see what styles we have done over the past few years. Halloween costumes are not required!

Upcoming meetings:

• November – Justin and Carrie – 2012 nominations for President, competition style voting
• December – Will and Jen – American Barleywine competition, BOTY, election of President and VP
• January – Harry (Bryan or Chris B. as backups)
• February – Thom and Jeannie Blacksburg BrewDo is September 24th.

Once again our Guild members had an awesome with five awards. Congratulations to Kevin, Will, Bryan, and Dan for their efforts.

Awful Arthur’s may be interested in sponsoring a similar competition where the winner’s beer would be brewed at their brewery. We will need to follow-up with them on this possibility.

The winners are as follows:
Specialty: (Please note there is a tie for 1st place)
1st- Stout-coffee #35 “Juan’s Brother” Gregory Copen
1st- Barleywine #44 “98.6” Jose Piriz
3rd- Ale #56 “It’s the Pits” Michael Vanidestine

Dark: (Please note there is a tie for 2nd place)
1st- Russian Imperial #63 “Operation Barbosa” John Baute
2nd-India Black Ale #23 “Noonan’s Black Gold” David Hrdlicka
2nd-Irish Stout #71 “Anna Keelies” Ben Mayo

Amber: 1st- Rye Barleywine #10 “Yukon Cornelius” Kevin Campbell
2nd- Am.Brown Ale #16 “Dad’s American Brown” William Landry
3rd- Am. Barleywine #12 “American Gnallywine” Bryan Summerson

Light: 1st- English Ale #5 “Dan’s e Ale” Daniel Tatarka
2nd- Belgian Blonde #15 “Abby’s Belgian Blonde” William Landry
3rd- Lt. Am. Lager #43 “IP Darker” Toeya Piriz

Bramwell Oktoberfest is October 8th. There was some interest in attending from a few members. If anyone is interested in traveling together please share your plans through the e-mail list.

Learn to Homebrew Day – Saturday November 5th – To celebrate (Homebrewers Association | Learn to Homebrew Day – About ), The Guild will host a demonstration event sponsored by Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing at their new location at the Williamson Road Plaza. Possible brewers are Jeff, Harry, Bryan, Chris M., and new member David S. The club tent is now at Chris D.’s, but we did not need it on Saturday. Chris will check the dimensions for a possible new logo and pass it along. Hopefully we can get the new logo squared away before our demonstration event.

Bargainfittings.com is a good resource for high temperature tubing and other brewing needs. There is a possible new source for painted glassware that some of may be interested in. Joan will pass along the information to Chris M.

Chris D. suggested we consider a mead competition (with his hives in the background … hahah!) as an extra event. Given that it can be expensive and everyone may not have an interest it may be a good idea to do it as a separate event. There seemed to be significant interest in doing this possibly a year or more away to allow for aging.

After a short break we had the American Stout competition. With 16 entries, it kept Kathy and Joan quite busy. I don’t recall having that many entries before and fortunately we were able to have four judges tables in the first round. With an excellent selection, we had six entries at the final table. Many thanks to Kathy, Joan, and all our judges. Third place went to Dan Tartarka, second went to Patrick Beeson, and first went to Chris McDonald. A gift certificate to Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing was also awarded to your President Chris McDonald after a name drawing from a pool of those that entered the competition. Thanks to everyone who attended and/or entered the competition. Our next meeting will be on October 29th.

Chris M.

President Star City Brewers Guild


October 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Monday, 07 November 2011

On Saturday October 29, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Jeff and Cindy F. in Roanoke.? Over 40 members and guests gathered on this chilly evening. Many thanks to Jeff and Cindy for having us at their home for what has been an October tradition and a great meeting.

We now have a record total of 82 paid members in our group. It is great to see such interest in craft brewing.?Kevin shared with us some issues with our bank. They are beginning to charge a fee any time a balance falls below $1000. We can’t support that and we are actively looking at our options.

Future meetings

•?November 19th, 4:00 – Justin and Carrie – 2012 nominations for President, competition style voting

•?December (tentatively the 10th) – Will and Jen – American Barleywine competition (we need judges!), BOTY, election of President and VP

•?January – Harry (Bryan or Chris B. as backups)

•?February – Thom and Jeannie

Kevin has been in contact with Bull and Bones concerning his plans to brew his BrewDo award winning Barley Wine “Yukon Cornelius” at their brewery.?Right now it looks like he will be brewing in December with plans to have it available in late January or February.

Plans were finalized for our Learn to Homebrew event at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing on November 5th.?We will have up to six brewers demonstrating home brewing and many more will bring samples for the public to taste.

Chris D. found a source to get a new logo for our club tent for $50. The old one had to be replaced due to wear and tear. The group voted to give Chris the go ahead and he hopes to have it ready for our event this Saturday.

Barry, the owner at Awful Arthur’s may be interested in doing a competition similar to BrewDo. Winners would have a chance to send their beers to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver for the October event next year.? Although it is unclear if the brewery is affiliated with the brewers association or not.

After a discussion on Guild communications it was decided that we would update the web page and use it as our primary method of communications, particularly with the public and for our events. E-mail will continue as the preferred informal method of communication.

Please send in your nominations for 2012 competition styles no later than November 12th so they can be summarized for voting on November 19th.?This will also give members that can’t attend the meeting a chance to vote by e-mail.?The top nominations will be on the ballot.

Jeff gave us a great tour of his basement brewery, train set, and newly added brewing wagon. This is a must see. It is quite a hi-tech brewery that is totally portable.

Our next meeting will be at Justin and Carrie’s in Salem on November 19th.?We look forward to seeing everyone there for this important meeting where we will be voting on 2012 competition styles and nominating candidates for President.


November 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Saturday, 19 November 2011

On Saturday November 19th, the Star City Brewers Guild and guests gathered at the home of Justin and Carrie in Salem. A total of about 30 members and guests gathered to enjoy some great beers and great food on this mild fall afternoon. Thanks to Justin and Carrie for their hospitality and for hosting our gathering on Carries birthday.

In Kevin’s absence, Chris gave a Treasurer’s report and we are at an all-time high with 84 members.

The December meeting will be held at Will and Jen’s on December 17th. This is a busy meeting so we will likely begin gathering around 3:00. At this meeting we will have our American Barleywine competition and we will need judges. We will also announce the Brewer of the Year, elect our President and VP, and conduct a gift (beer of course) exchange for those that want to participate.

Future meetings will be hosted as follows:

January 21st – Harry

February – Thom and Jeannie

March – Bryan and Jenny

After covering the upcoming meeting schedule and locations we had a short review of our Learn to Homebrew event at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing on November 5th. We had six brewers and Chris and Fran were pleased with the traffic at the store. Additional details on that event can be found on the website www.starcitybrewers.org .Nominations for 2012 President were Will L., Kevin C., and Chris M. and each one has agreed to be in the running. The person receiving the most votes will be President and the one receiving the second most votes will be Vice President. The President and Vice President will then choose a Treasurer. If you have other ideas for nominations, please check with your nominee and make sure they are willing to be in the running. The next meeting will be here before we know it so let everyone know of any additional nominations as soon as possible.

Dan T. shared some information about his trip to Sierra Nevada Beer Camp. He really enjoyed this two and a half day trip where he toured the brewery and they brewed an Altbier of two 10 barrel batches in the pilot brew house. Dan was able to make arrangements at Carrabba’s in Roanoke to have some of it available here for purchase. Dan will be sure to let us know when so we can be sure and give it a try.

Chris Molseed with the Hill City Homebrewers joined us to talk about the BJCP exam. Sites within a reasonable driving distance fill up very quickly and it is difficult to get a seat for the exam. As a result our Lynchburg neighbors are considering hosting a site in Lynchburg and they would like to give us an opportunity to participate before opening it up to others. A total of at least six people are needed to get a test date and they will host a study course in Lynchburg. The goal is to be ready for the exam in January of 2013. It costs $50 for the exam and $30 for re-takes. It was good to spend some time with one of our neighboring brewers and we appreciate the invitation. Brewers should contact Chris Molseed directly (cmolseed@comcast.net) if you are interested in participating in the study course and/or taking the exam.

As is customary each year, at our November meeting, guild members voted on competition styles and for 2012 the results are as follows:

March – BJCP Style12C.Baltic Porter

June – BJCP Style 23. Specialty (Black IPA, India Black Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale)

September – BJCP Style 11B. Southern English Brown Ale

December – BJCP Style 21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty

Next meeting – December 17th


December 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A festive crowd of over 40 members and guests gathered at the home of Will and Jen in Roanoke County on Saturday December 17th for the Star City Brewers Guild December meeting. Thanks to Will and Jen for hosting on this nice fall evening.

Kevin provided our Treasurer’s report and we had 84 paid members to close out 2011.

Harry will host the January meeting on the 21st at his home in the Hollins area of North Roanoke County. Kevin volunteered to give our style presentation and walk us through a commercial sample tasting. Thom and Jeannie will take February and Bryan and Jenny will host in March for our first quarterly members only competition of 2012.

Competition styles for 2012 were voted on in November and are as follows:

*March – BJCP Style 11B. Southern English rown Ale

June – BJCP Style 23. Specialty (Black IPA, India Black Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale)

*September – BJCP Style 12C. Baltic Porter

December – BJCP Style 21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty

*Note: March and September were switched to allow more time for the Baltic Porter.

We discussed our single hop pale ale experiment where everyone used the same recipe, yeast, and various hops. Everyone adjusted to get about 35 IBU’s and so far we have about eight different varieties with possibly more to come. We plan on tasting these in February since some won’t be ready in January and we have more room on the agenda. Be sure to bring them in January anyway as well if you have them ready.

Chris D. shared with us some Star City Brewers Guild stickers that he obtained when he had our tent logo replaced. They are very nice and he can get them for $5-6 each. He also showed us a cigar made with Centennial hops that he highly recommends to any cigar enthusiasts. John M. has a connection through a former member to a few SCBG logo glasses if anyone is interested. Doug brought several cases of cleaned and de-labeled bottles for those that needed them.

John M. officiated over our election for 2012 President and Vice President. Chris M. was once again chosen as President and Kevin received the honor of our Vice President. Will has agreed to serve as our Treasurer for 2012. Congratulations to all and thanks to everyone for their support.

After a short break Kathy organized our group for the American Barleywine competition. We had 13 entries this time and there were enough judges for four first round tables. Five beers were worthy of moving on to the second round where we had a fresh group of judges. The competition went quite well and Paul placed third, Bryan placed second, and Doug N. was our first place winner. Kevin rounded out the year as the 2011 Brewer of the Year. All those with entries were entered into a drawing for a $40 gift certificate provided by Chris and Fran from Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing. Thanks to everyone who helped out with this event by planning, organizing, stewarding, judging, and of course brewing! Also thanks to Chris and Fran for the gift certificate.

After all the formalities many of our members exchanged gifts of beer in the Bad Santa game. Bryan and Harry walked us through this fun exchange which was quite entertaining.

Our next meeting will be on January 21st at Harry’s.